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Tech Front - New Carbon Nanotubes Outperform Copper as Electrical Conductors

Patrick Waurzyniak, Senior Editor and Ellen Kehoe, Senior Editor


Carbon nanotube-based fibers created at Rice University (Houston) show that on a pound-per-pound basis, the nanotube fibers have more capacity to conduct electrical current than copper. Although individual nanotubes can transmit nearly 1000 times more current than copper, the same tubes coalesced into a fiber using other technologies fail long before reaching that capacity. Full Article

Technology Goes Deep on Land and Subsea

Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


You would have to go 5000–6000' (1524–1829 m) under water to see the AZ-10 fully concentric vertical mono-bore subsea tree operating in its natural working habitat. The AZ-10 subsea tree manufactured by Argus Subsea (Houston) is off-the-shelf hardware that can operate effectively anywhere a rig can power a blowout preventer (BOP). Full Article

UpFront: Energy Revolution Here to Stay

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


As a nation, we’ve already crossed the threshold and entered a new era of energy production. Consider: the US Energy Information Administration estimates that the US will be the world’s top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons in 2013, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia.  Full Article

A Network of Little Silicon Valleys

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


One of the biggest moments of the 2014 State of the Union was President Barack Obama’s announcement of six new manufacturing hubs, or innovation institutes. Two are already in the works, including “America Makes,” the additive manufacturing hub, in Youngstown, OH, and the recently announced wide bandgap semiconductor hub in Raleigh, NC. Together, these institutes, Obama said in his address to Congress, give us "the chance, right now, to beat other countries in the race for the next wave of high-tech manufacturing jobs.”

Full Article

ABB Wins Zayed Future Energy Prize 2014



ABB, the global power and automation technology group, has been awarded the Zayed Future Energy Prize 2014 in recognition of its efforts to drive innovation, renewable energy and energy efficiency. "It is a great honor to have won the Zayed Future Energy Prize 2014,” said ABB Chief Executive Officer, Ulrich Spiesshofer. Full Article

Fighting for the American Dream

Jim McKay, Editor, USW@Work, United Steelworkers Communications Dept.


Elliott Group, a 103-year-old maker of advanced centrifugal compressors and steam turbines, is expanding its United Steelworkers (USW) workforce and investing $110 million into a US factory that was once a candidate for closure. That’s the result of a remarkable turnaround in labor-management relations at Elliott’s main US manufacturing plant that was sparked by a local union that did not want to die. Full Article

Big Investments in Oil & Gas

Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff


The oil and gas industry is set for another year of record investment. According to recent analysis and report from IHS Global Inc. (Washington, D.C.), the recent surge in oil and gas transportation and storage infrastructure is not a short-lived phenomenon. Full Article

In this ‘Oil Patch’ They Speak with a Burr and Not a Drawl

Edited by Senior Editor James D. Sawyer from information provided by Hurco Companies Inc.


Scotland has a robust contract manufacturing community that serves the oil & gas industry in the North Sea—and beyond. Full Article

Tooling Up for Fluid-End Machining

Don Halas, Threading and Grooving Product Manager, and Scott Turner, Drilling Product Manager, Seco Tools


  Demand for fluid ends is rising because of increased drilling and the component’s short lifespan.    Full Article

Coupling Growth with Productivity

Edited by Yearbook Editor James D. Sawyer from material provided by Okuma America Corp.


Automation helps provide LB Pipe with a competitive edge as well as a broader customer portfolio. Full Article

Making Light Work of Heavy-Duty Machining

Oliver Hagenlocher, Director of Marketing, EMAG Sales and Services GMBH


The larger the component, the smaller the batch size—this is the way one could describe the demands made on heavy-duty machining in many branches of manufacturing. In fact, this simple equation provides as much of a challenge to wind turbine engineering and the production of large commercial vehicles as it does to, for instance, the railway construction industry. Full Article

Automation Beats Handmade Hands Down

Tony Tharp, Business Development Manager, Sunnen Products Co.


The shale gas boom in the US is creating its own boom for producers of metering equipment. Meter tubes, also called “meter runs,” are critical parts of the orifice gas meter, a device that’s been used for more than a century to measure gas flows. Millions of meter tubes are used worldwide, usually at custody transfer points to determine billing amounts. Full Article

Rocking the Hard Metal

Dale Petts, Global Product Manager of Metal Products, Simonds International


Due to rising fuel costs, there is a strong trend to manufacture turbines and engines with higher fuel efficiency to meet today’s energy challenges. One approach manufacturers are taking is to design these units to operate at a hotter temperature. Full Article

Clean and Green Goes Beyond Just Cars and Trucks

David Tulauskas, Director of Sustainability, General Motors Co.


Efforts to decrease dependence on petroleum and reduce carbon emissions extend beyond General Motors vehicles to our global manufacturing footprint. We are an industrial leader in ongoing energy and emissions reductions. Sound energy management policies help define manufacturing excellence, represent effective cost savings and offer obvious environmental benefits. Full Article

Focus on the Workforce: Training Tomorrow's Energy Engineers

John Smegal, Workforce Development Lead, Advanced Manufacturing Office, US Department of Energy


The Energy Department’s Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) program is a workforce development initiative aimed at creating the next generation of energy engineers. IAC graduates possess a unique mixture of engineering and energy management expertise, combined with hands-on experience obtained by working directly with small- and medium-size manufacturing facilities across the country. Full Article

New Challenge for Automation

ABB Group.


Concentrating solar power (CSP) plants represent a new challenge for automation. The ratio of about 400 I/O signals per MW is one of the highest in power generation. The system tags also have an extremely high ratio of about 3500 tags per MW. Full Article

A Fresh Twist on Making Turbine Models

Edited by Yearbook Editor James D. Sawyer from information provided by Siemens Industry Inc.


MCE Maschinen und Apparatebau GmbH (MCE; Linz, Austria) produces various components for large gas, steam, and water turbines, as well as for wind power stations and other segments of energy production. Full Article

A Double Infusion of Extra Energy

David Yang, Industry Analyst, IBISWorld


Cheaper fuel will provide a boom in—and prove a boon to—US manufacturing. Full Article

JCI Looks to Batteries and Seats to Help Promote Fuel Savings

James D. Sawyer Senior Editor


There were many areas Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI; Milwaukee) focused on during its Automotive Day October 15 at its facility in Plymouth, MI, but the two that stood out most can be summed up as electric and chairs. A large diversified company (workforce: 168,000) with a footprint in more than 150 countries, JCI supplies two-thirds of the lead-acid batteries consumed by automakers and the aftermarket. Also, it was the first company to produce lithium-ion batteries for mass production hybrid vehicles. Full Article

Keeping Your Bearings Straight

Edited by Senior Editor James D. Sawyer from information provided by Renishaw Inc.


Blade pitch adjustment is one of the most critical functions of wind turbine operation, and the giant bearings in the adjustment mechanism can now be manufactured with accuracy typically reserved for small parts, using a new KMT Lidköping vertical turn-grind machine from KMT Precision Grinding (Lidköping, Sweden; Milford, MA). Full Article

GE Oil & Gas Launches New Subsea Manifold Line

GE Oil & Gas


Expanded product line, standardized design meantto help reduce delivery time to customers by up to 50%. Full Article

US Oil and Gas Revolution Boosts Economy, Job Growth

IHS Inc.


More than 3.3 million jobs will be supported in 2020 as the unconventional oil and gas revolution boosts industry competitiveness and manufacturing growth. Full Article

You Can Get There from Here

Edited by Senior Editor James D. Sawyer


Highly specialized contract manufacturer leverages CAM to resolve energy product development issues. Full Article

Tool Time for Fracking

Matt Tegelman, Applications & Product Manager, BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc.


Helical interpolation and rough boring are two ways to open holes in fracking-industry applications, but as volume increases and speed becomes a factor, one operation emerges as superior. Full Article

In Search of Better Wind Turbines

Karun Chakravarthy, Solution Experience--Energy, Process & Utilities, Dassault Systèmes


Product development project management of wind energy generators is a complex process that can benefit from a single collaborative approach.   Full Article

It Takes Perseverance and the Right Technology in the Oil Patch

Edited by Senior Editor James D. Sawyer


Starting out small--really small--and then growing rapidly involves risk, courage, perseverance and the right machining technology.  Meet a Texan who's traveled that path. Full Article

Can Lean Help Grease the Way in Oil & Gas?

Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


Lean manufacturing is generally seen as being best suited to the automotive and similar industries. Full Article

Progress in Manufacturing Sustainability

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


Sustainable manufacturing approaches, standards initiatives and industry solutions were highlighted at a panel session June 13 at the NAMRC-MSEC advanced manufacturing conference, an annual event of the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME and the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME. Full Article

Hurricane Sandy and Our Energy Infrastructure

David Sandalow, Under Secretary of Energy (Acting) and Assistant Secretary for Policy & International Affairs Department of Energy


On the night of October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast of the US. The storm first made landfall just south of Atlantic City, NJ, with 80-mph (130-km/h) winds, torrential rains and record storm surges. Full Article

America's Unconventional Revolution, Energy Security and Innovation

Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman, IHS


The United States is in the midst of an  unconventional revolution in oil and gas that, it becomes increasingly apparent, goes beyond energy itself. Today, the industry supports 1.7 million jobs—a considerable accomplishment given the relative newness of some of its technology. Full Article

Drill, Baby, Drill

Edited by Senior Editor James D. Sawyer


An oil & gas subcontractor found a solution that delivered the whole package: Greater throughput, a better finish and less outsourcing.  Full Article

Li-ion Batteries Move a Step Closer to Perfection

Brian Dunt, Applications Engineer, Promess Inc.


Lithium ion (li-ion) batteries are the technology of choice for applications ranging from handheld electronics to “plug-and-drive” vehicles and back-up power systems for server farms and other critical systems. Full Article

Shale is Good News For Ohio's Mahoning Valley

Edited by Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


The Marcellus and Utica shale deposits are sparking not only an oil and gas boom but a revival of manufacturing in Rust Belt communities.   Full Article

Shell Lays Keel for World's First Floating LNG Project

Edited by Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


What Shell calls the Prelude could be largest offshore floating facility ever built, displacing six times as much as the largest aircraft carrier. Full Article

Emerson Process Management Opens New Manufacturing Site, HQ in Houston

Edited by Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


Plant for valves and other oil and gas equipment will employ 250 by 2016. Full Article

Oil Patch Prospects to Rise

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


While the oil patch experiences an ebb in its boom-and-bust cycle, projections for increased oil sands and conventional oil production point to improving conditions for the Canadian market. Full Article

Danos to Build New Facilities in Louisiana

Edited by Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


A headquarters facility in Gray, LA, will contain the bulk of the 426 new jobs expected to be generated by the company’s move. A manufacturing site will account for the rest. Full Article

The Path to More Efficient Motors for Manufacturing

Rich Schaefer, Senior Product Manager, Baldor Electric Co.


The AC induction motor has been the workhorse of the industrial revolution. What will the motor of the future look like? To understand where we are going, let’s take a look at where we have been and where we are now. Full Article

Tooling Partner Helps Pump Things Up

David L. Cope, Manager, Technical Programs, Engineered Solutions Americas, Kennametal Inc.


Faced with a need for increased productivity, a major manufacturer of oil & gas equipment turned to an innovator who could help move the metal. Full Article

A Whole Lot of Shakin's Not Goin' On

Brent Godfrey, Industry and Applications Specialist, Sandvik Coromant


Tool dampening has evolved to become a means of boosting productivity in the oil & gas industry   Full Article

Casting about for the Proper Balance

Edited by Senior Editor James D. Sawyer


Mixing the old and the new, the tried and the true, a small-town Texas foundry has learned how to deal with the ups and downs that come with living inthe Oil Patch.   Full Article

Energy Abounds at Houstex

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


Stocks surging to record levels. GM and Ford market shares on the rise. And last week, deep in the heart of Texas oil country, the vibrant US manufacturing industry showcased its wares for the oil, gas and energy industry at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ (SME) Houstex 2013 show in Houston, TX. Full Article

Developing Lean Culture in the Process Industries

Raymond C. Floyd


When adapting lean to a different area of manufacturing, take care that nothing is lost in the translation. Full Article

US Shale Gas & Oil Plays

Energy Information Administration


Only in the past five years has shale gas been recognized as a game changer for the US natural gas market. Full Article

Big, Heavy, and Automated: Trends in Machining for Seafloor Recovery

Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


Extracting oil and gas in the deep ocean requires heavy-duty expertise. But the tight skilled labor market is forcing more efficient use of capital equipment through single setup and automation   Full Article

UpFront: An Exciting New Energy Future: Oil, Gas, Wind and More

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


The world is witnessing the dawn of a new era in energy production. And manufacturers—who innovate, engineer and supply the tools needed to extract, capture, generate, store and transport that energy—are at the forefront.

Full Article

Thread Milling in Advanced Energy-Recovery Operations

Carmex President Jeff Dei


At the heart of the recovery system are the pumping units capable of generating the extraordinary pressures and, at the same time, withstanding the flow of the abrasive-laden pumping fluid. No element of the pump is more critical than the threaded ports that connect the unit to the high-pressure lines. Connections are typically machined from the same alloy as the pump and, given the pressures involved, the fit must be perfect, both to ensure efficient operation and to facilitate connect and disconnect operation. Depending on the design, typical pumps are produced with three to five threaded holes per block. Full Article

Production Tax Credit Extended

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


The renewable energy industry kicked off the New Year with celebration after Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 in the first days of 2013. The law averted a tumble over a fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and also extended the popular tax credits that had been set to expire. The federal renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) is a per-kilowatt-hour tax credit for electricity generated by qualified energy resources. While wind and ethanol producers are the big winners in the move, the PTC also covers other sources of power generation such as specific types of landfill gas, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal electric, municipal solid waste and others. Full Article

Toolholders that Grip, Lock and Raise the Bar

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


The toolholding industry is launching new systems for gripping, clamping and locking, as well as deadening vibrations. It's also expanding its toolholder lineup, going ever bigger for applications in the energy, machinery and heavy-duty transportation markets and ever smaller for medical and aerospace parts.
Full Article

Viewpoints: The 2013 Prognosis for Manufacturing is Strong

NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray


Amidst all of the conversation about the fiscal cliff, slowing global growth and other economic anxieties, it is easy to overlook that the long-term prognosis for the manufacturing sector remains strong. Some of 2012’s economic bright spots should continue into 2013, and manufacturers will benefit. Full Article

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